Innovation on Tap

Stories of Entrepreneurship from the Cotton Gin to Broadway's Hamilton

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
352 Pages
Reviewed on 12/22/2019
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Eric has spent his career in entrepreneurial and leadership roles, including as senior vice president of Midwest operations for American Cablesystems, co-founder and president of Atlantic Ventures, and chairman and CEO of Sensitech, a venture-backed business twice named to the Inc. 500 before being acquired by Carrier Corporation.

Eric served as a CEO-partner with Ascent Ventures, as executive chairman of HubCast, on the board of advisors of the Avedis Zildjian Company and Windover LLC, and as a mentor for student start-up teams in the Brown University B-Lab.

His nonprofit historical work includes chairing the Gettysburg Foundation and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

He is co-author of Food Foolish: The Hidden Connection Between Food Waste, Hunger, and Climate Change, and King Philip’s War: The History and Legacy of America’s Forgotten Conflict, and author of Weathermakers to the World. His most recent book is a history of entrepreneurship in America, "Innovation on Tap."

Eric has a bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Eric’s blog is “The Occasional CEO” at where he posts updates to Innovation on Tap. He can also be found on Twitter at @ericebs and on LinkedIn.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Randy B. Lichtman for Readers' Favorite

One of the most interesting history books on entrepreneurs that I have read is Innovation on Tap: Stories of Entrepreneurship from the Cotton Gin to Broadway’s Hamilton by Eric B. Schultz. The stories on each entrepreneur are well crafted and relevant, always emphasizing the impact they had on our culture and society. When one thinks of entrepreneurship and innovation, we often think of a person who has made an impact on business alone, but the entrepreneurs in this volume have been inventors, musicians, environmentalists, community leaders, and other categories as well. There is a diverse group of individuals going from various points in history in themes of mechanization, mass production, consumerism, sustainability, digitization, and social and cultural entrepreneurship.

We learn so much about major forces in entrepreneurship and innovation including Eli Whitney who invented and ultimately had to defend his rights to the cotton gin and the use of interchangeable parts; King Gillette who developed the idea of a razor and disposable razor blades with his inventor friend William Nickerson; John Merrick who established the Mechanics and Farmers Bank in order to meet the needs of African-American businessmen who were unable to obtain loans from white-owned banks; Willis Carrier who invented and developed the business of air conditioning; Elizabeth Arden who became a major developer and marketer of beauty products; Alfred Sloan at General Motors who changed the face of automobile branding and marketing; and Lin-Manuel Miranda, the author who wrote and composed the well-known and critically acclaimed musical, Hamilton.

There are many other entrepreneurs, some not as well known, who have made great contributions to our society. Their stories are told in an interesting storytelling style, making us want to learn more about each one—a total of 33 in all are described with evidence of in-depth research. We learn about their achievements and challenges throughout this excellent volume. A fictional bar established by the author becomes an effective mechanism where these innovators interact with each other from different periods, and allows for a successful transition from one story to another. For readers interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, and people who made a difference in our society, Innovation on Tap: Stories of Entrepreneurship from the Cotton Gin to Broadway’s Hamilton by Eric B. Schultz is a great read!